April 5, 2001
Last week the Bush Administration announced that under rare circumstances, the Government will pay for women to take RU-486, the infamous abortion pill. The restrictions on RU-486 would be the same as federal coverage of surgical abortions. Medicaid will cover abortions in the case of rape or incest or if the mother’s life is in danger. The restrictions include parental notification, precautionary counseling and information on alternatives to abortion. The Hyde Amendment, which was adopted by Congress in 1976, limits federal coverage of Mifepristone (the abortion pill). “I believe the administration is encouraging the states to limit the distribution of RU-486 to the maximum extent permitted by law,” said Douglas Johnson, of the National Right to Life Committee.
Court Challenge On Pre-Meal Prayer
The Virginia Military Institute may face a court challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union for its pre-meal prayer tradition. The Virginia chapter of the ACLU is representing two students who think the VMI administration is wrong by forcing students to participate in the prayer. The two VMI students asked the school administration to consider ending the pre-meal tradition but were surprised and upset when the administration refused to end the prayer time. Neil Mellen, one of the students who has brought the case against VMI, said, “It’s ironic to me that such a school would flout basic laws such a nation was founded on, especially if you’re going to have military officers swear to follow the law.” Virginia’s Attorney General, Mark L. Earley, said, “The Supreme Court has never said adults assembled for an official meal on a college campus may not hear a blessing offered for the meal.”